book blog · Book Review

Book Review | Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


| Release Date: April 2015 |
| Publisher: Balzer + Bray |
| Genre: YA Contemporary |
| Length: 301 Pages |
| My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |

Hi Readers!

I’m rereading a lot of old favourites at the moment and this was one of them. I read this for the first in 2015 and this is the third time since then that I’ve picked it up. Although I was quite shocked by how much I’d forgotten.

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Simon is a teenager who knows he’s gay but isn’t ‘out’ to his friends and family yet. But there is one person who knows, Blue. Blue isn’t his real name and Simon doesn’t know who he is, all he knows is he goes to Simon’s school and he’s slowly falling in love with him, even though they’ve only spoken through email.

This book is an uplifting take on a boy coming out of the closet. It’s able to capture all of the awkwardness of being a teenager, first love and discovouring yourself and your sexuality.

But it’s also about that time of uncertainty about how your friends and family will react when you tell them who you are. Especially when most people assume they already know.

You’ll love all of the characters. Their friendship dynamics are just everything and they really bounce off each other well.

This book is whitty and comical. How the characters speak and the issues they’re facing really speaks to my teenage self. When I first read this I was a teenager but now I’m 22 but I still relate to it.

Would I Read Again? I already have. But I will again, and again, and again.
Would I Recommend? Absolutely!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Book Review

Book Series Review | The Folk of the Air Trilogy | A fun YA fantasy romance


Book One: The Cruel Prince
Released: January 2018
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 370 Pages
Source: Library Book
My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Book Two: The Wicked King
Released: January 2019
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 336 Pages
Source: Library Book
My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Book Three: The Queen of Nothing
Released: November 2019
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 300 Pages
Source: Library Book
My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

*Spoiler-Free Review. I’ll just be sharing my thoughts and opinions but won’t get specific

Hi Readers!

This is probably one of the most hyped series at the moment. I’ve seen people who don’t even read YA enjoying these books so how could that not intrigue me? I did try starting this series a couple of times before but I just was not a fan of it. But the hype kept building and then the final book came out and I decided to push through. I’m kind of glad I did?

I feel pretty much the same about all of the books. I didn’t love the writing (I’ve felt this before about a Holly Black book, I think she’s just not for me), I hated most of the characters but loved Jude enough to make up for that, and the plot was entertaining enough to keep me interest.

The Folk of the Air trilogy is about three sisters, Vivi, Taryn and her twin sister Jude whose POV we follow. Jude and her sisters grew up in the mortal world until a Fae turns up on their doorstep claiming to be Vivi’s father. He kills Jude’s parents and takes them to Faerie, seeing them as his responsibility now. We follow them years later as teenagers, where they now view Faerie as home.

It’s sounds messed up, because it is. And it really only gets more messed up from there. There’s a lot of political intrigue and twists that I kind of saw coming but not entirely. There was always something that surprised me.

The Faerie world was very whimsical and a little cooky. There are a lot of different creatures that I’ve never seen in a fantasy before. The feel of it kind of reminded me of that random Bratz Pixiez movie.

Our main character Jude is a force to be reckoned with. She knows that she wants. To not feel powerless or weak in a world where, being mortal, she has no power at all. The only advantage she really has is that she can lie while the Fae can’t. She works hard at her sword training and never backs down from a fight which makes her an exciting character to read about.

Her relationships with others though was super weird and I’m not sure I was entirely sold on some of the dynamics. For one thing I just can’t wrap my head around the fact they stay with their parents murderer and even come to see him as their father. I just don’t get how that works?

I feel like there are a lot of things that the characters do in this that just wouldn’t be forgiven in the real world and the only excuse they really have is, this is Faerie, the culture is different here. Fae are notorious for being tricksters and cruel and I just can’t read about someone like that and not hate them, even if you are supposed to love them. I’m looking at you Cardan.

I really wasn’t a fan of the writing. It really let the story down for me. The pacing felt off and the ending to the first and third books felt messy and rushed. I also felt there were a lot of inconsistances in characters and the actions or decisions they made.

The romance wasn’t as big a part of the books as I thought it was going to be. I’ve been seeing Cardan and Jude fanart all over my twitter timeline for years now so I was expecting to go into this and immediately hardcore ship them. But I didn’t.

It actually took two books for me to even tolerate Cardan, let alone ship him with a fiercely strong character like Jude. I’m honestly not sure I ever bought their romance but I do love the hate-to-love trope and there certainly was a lot of tension at times. I just wanted more of it!

Favourite Quote

“What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.”

– Jude, The Cruel Prince

Would I Read Again? No
Would I Recommend? Maybe? Give it a try at least.

Thanks For Reading
Jess X

book blog

Contemporary-a-thon TBR & Recommendations

Hi Readers!

I love all genres but there’s no denying that Contemporary is my number one. It’s certainly the genre I’ve read the most of and I think most of my favourite books are contemporary as well. However, the contemporary-a-thon is in it’s 6th round and I’ve never been able to actively take part in it. Well, that is about to change!

The contemporary-a-thon runs from Monday 10th Feb – Sunday 16th Feb and there are 7 challenges. I also thought this would be a good chance to recommend and whole load of contemporary books that will fit each challenge to help you with your TBR!

1. Read a contemporary book with green on the cover
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – This is a reread to prepare for the movie! (Which I’m very excited about).

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Normal People by Sally Rooney

My Pick

2. Read a contemporary from a new to you author
Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley – This is a romance set in a bookshop and it just sounds so cute.

Recommendations: Hopefully one of these authors are new to you!
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Tin Man by Sarah Winman

3. Read a diverse contemporary (keeping in mind that it is Black History Month!)
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams – I have been wanting to read this for the longest time.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Korean heritage
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenze – Mexican heritage & LGBT+
The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon – Jamaican heritage
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

4. Read a backlist contemporary (something that has been on your TBR for over a year)
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – This sounds like the perfect read for Valentines day!

Recommendations (some older contemporaries):
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Confess by Colleen Hoover
The Upside of Unrequited Love by Becky Albertalli

5. Read a dark/hard hitting contemporary
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert – I believe this is about mental health. It sounds like a very diverse YA.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

6. Read a contemporary with an illustrated cover
Yes, No, Maybe So by Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli

Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

7. Read a contemporary that is beloved by a member of the book community (and shout out the creator!)
I’m not sure what to read for this yet. I’d love any recommendations!

Recommendations: So, what I could do here is shamelessly plug all of my own favourite contemporaries, but I feel like I’ve already done that. So here’s a selection of some other bloggers posts sharing their favourites:

Taasia – Librae Paints Pages
Kristin – Kristin Kraves Books
Lili – Lili’s Blissfull Pages
Rian – The Bookish Life
Sushianna – Fictionally In Love

What’s your favourite contemporary book?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X